In the news of late are the new Bible action figures that will soon hit the market at your local Wal-Mart. No doubt “Christians” from various denominational backgrounds will rush to purchase these “family friendly” toys for their children as an alternative to Harry Potter, Transformers, Spiderman, and even G.I. Joe. David Socha, founder of one2believe (who is producing these toys) states, “We can’t let this exceptional opportunity just pass-by! We need to raise awareness of this opportunity and encourage others to support us as well.” What opportunity is he talking about? The opportunity to glorify God through the proclamation of the Gospel? The opportunity to elevate God’s Word as Holy and Sacred? In his own words, “This is a chance to let our voices be heard. By supporting this program we can send a message to other retailers and toy makers letting them know that we, as a Christian community, are truly concerned about the toys that our children play with! We are aware of the influence that toys have on our young children’s impressionable minds, so we would like to see more God-honoring options available. It’s a “Battle for the Toy Box”!” While this sounds good, are these toys truly the way to honor God, or just another way to slip away into our “Christian bubble”. They have their toys, we have ours. Are these toys really a good idea? Are they really family friendly? Is it really toys that are causing kids to grow up into little pagans? “I don’t know, me and Billie Jean did everything we could to raise our kids right, it was those blast darnit’ toys that did them in!”

The Trivialization of the Historicity of the Bible

I know, that is a mouthful of words. However, they are necessary words. What happens when you market Bible characters alongside of other fictional action figures like Spiderman and Superman? This reduces the historical accounts recorded in Holy Scripture to nothing more than a fun fairy tale or the latest action adventure which isn’t really true, but it sure is nice to pretend once and a while that it is. These action figures are not causing this kind of thinking necessarily, they are a barometric reading of a culture that already views what they read in the Bible as “nice stories” but not history. Of course the marketing of these toys has nothing to do with history at all. If you would look carefully at the first picture I posted, this is actually an ad that features Sampson fighting Goliath. Perhaps just a little confusing?

The Misunderstanding and Poor Application of Sinful Men and Women as the “Heroes” of the Bible 

One thing is sure when watching a Superman movie or a Spiderman movie: You know who the hero is. The danger of these “action heroes” is that they may fuel the fire of an already confused plethora of children and parents. The Bible has one hero, God. David is not the hero of the Bible, Paul is not the hero, you get the point. In the New Testament, the hero is Jesus Christ alone. Yes, they do have a Jesus action figure that talks to you and is poseable according to the box, but this doesn’t elevate Jesus as the hero, it places Him on equal standing with all of the other “hereos”. This is what the Corinthians were doing when Paul admonished them:

1 Corinthians 3:4-5 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? 5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.

Here is the description of the Jesus “Messenger of Faith” figure from one2 believe, “A long time ago, God sent His only Son, Jesus, from heaven to Earth. He was born to a woman named Mary and a man named Joseph. His earthly parents raised Jesus until He became a man. Then, He left them to travel all around the land. He helped lots of people by teaching them, healing them and performing many miracles!” Is that all Jesus did? There is no mention of the cross or the resurrection or Jesus paying for sin on the website. This is typical of what my father in law calls “Christianity Lite.” If this is the story their talking Jesus tells the children who play with them, they will in fact be introduced to an unbiblical Jesus. I know, some of you may be thinking, “Wow, he sure is making a big deal of this, I mean after all they are just action figures!” You make my point precisely. That we have come to a place where Christians have no problem with the treasure that we have in the Word of God being represented by silly children’s toys proves that we have in fact trivialized the Word of God and missed the point on who is the central character in the entire Bible. The Bible is not a book that merely tells us about some cool people who had exciting lives that we can copy not only in our lives but now also as we play with action figures. The Bible is a book that tells us who God us. I once heard R.C. Sproul say that unbelievers greatest need is that they need to know who God is. He then said that the churches’ greatest need was to learn who God is. Amen to that. We won’t learn who God is by getting our kids to play with these new Bible action figures. In fact, this kind of trivialization of God’s Word may ensure that our kids never really learn who God is.